Preparations are underway for a start on one of the major projects to be funded by the Waikato River Authority in its first funding round.
The Authority is funding Waikato River Trails $144,000 to undertake major planting on some key areas of the trail. Currently weed clearing and ground preparation is taking place in readiness for planting.
About 12,000 plants and trees will be planted along the edges of lakes, Karapiro, Arapuni, Maraetai and Whakamaru which are all part of the Waikato River.
Waikato River Trails acting chairperson, Gordon Blake, says the lake edges are special parts of the 100 kilometre long trail, stretching from Karapiro in the north to Atiamuri in the south, and the native planting will provide significant enhancement.
“The Waikato River Authority funding is a major boost for the River Trails which has been underway for nearly 10 years. The funding will allow us to make exceptional progress on making the trail as great as we possibly can. We believe our project will help many more people gain a greater appreciation of the treasure we have in the Waikato River,” says Mr Blake.
Most of the planting will take place in July and August this year, with a number of schools and business groups in the South Waikato already committed to help.
Waikato River Authority co chairs Tukoroirangi Morgan and Hon John Luxton say the Waikato River Trails funding is one of a number of major projects to get support this year.
“We were particularly keen to fund this project given that so much progress has already been made over a number of years. It provides so well in terms of helping members of the public access the Waikato River in areas that they otherwise would not have been able to see,” says Mr Morgan.
“The involvement of the wider community is also a key part of the project from the Waikato River Authority’s viewpoint. Our focus is the health and well being of the River, so the more people who can be actively involved in a tangible way the more quickly we will be able to reach the vision,” says Mr Luxton.
Further details of the larger and smaller projects to be funded by the Waikato River Authority in its first funding round are available on its website www.waikatoriver.org.nz .
The Waikato River Authority is a co-governance body established between the Crown and Waikato River Iwi to restore the Waikato River. The government has committed $210 million over the next 30 years to ensure the Authority has the resources it needs to protect the Waikato River from further degradation.
For more information contact:
CEO Waikato River Authority 021 2456359
Acting Chair Waikato River Trails 027 4984810